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Seoul stocks sink over 2.5% on massive foreign sell-offs

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
South Korean shares plunged more than 2.5 percent Friday, as major tech giants suffered a slump from massive foreign sell-offs. The Korean won fell against the US dollar.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) plunged 59.52 points, or 2.56 percent, to close at 2,267.15.

Trading volume was high at about 775 million shares worth some 11.5 trillion won ($10.1 billion), with losers outnumbering gainers 753 to 123.

Stocks widened losses following a weak start, led by a retreat in top cap tech firms.

Local analysts attributed the fall to a massive foreign and institutional selling spree.

"It seems like the US presidential election uncertainties and the COVID-19 resurgence issues are pressuring foreign and institutional investors to dump local stocks," Kiwoom Securities analyst Seo Sang-young said.

Foreigners dumped a net 994 billion won, the largest daily selling after Aug. 31, and institutions offloaded a net 459 billion won. Retail investors purchased a net 1.4 trillion won. 

In Seoul, most large caps closed lower.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics dipped 2.58 percent to 56,600 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix shed 2.2 percent to 79,900 won.

Top pharmaceutical firm Samsung Biologics lost 2.15 percent to 682,000 won, and Celltrion retreated 4.72 percent to 241,000 won.

Internet portal giant Naver declined 2.85 percent to 290,000 won, with its rival Kakao losing 3.79 percent to 330,000 won.

Leading chemical maker LG Chem sank 6.14 percent to 611,000 won, but rechargeable battery maker Samsung SDI gained 2.43 percent to 442,000 won.

Hyundai Motor, the country's largest automaker, fell 3.24 percent to 164,500 won, and top steelmaker Posco fell 1.89 percent to 208,000 won.

The local currency closed at 1,135.1 won per dollar, down 3.7 won from the previous session's close.

Bond prices, which move inversely to yields, closed lower. The yield on three-year Treasurys rose 0.8 basis point to 0.935 percent, and the return on the benchmark five-year government bond added 1.7 basis points to 1.235 percent. (Yonhap)
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